Excessive hairiness, particularly in women. The additional hair is coarse and grows in a male pattern on the face, trunk, and limbs. Hirsutism is a symptom of certain conditions, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (see ovary, polycystic) and congenital adrenal hyperplasia, in which the level of male hormones in the blood is abnormally high. Hirsutism can also be a result of taking anabolic steroids (see steroids, anabolic). More commonly, however, hirsutism is not a sign of any disorder; it occurs in many normal women, especially after the menopause. (See also hypertrichosis.)


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